Here's another "toy money" example - an imitation banknote produced by the artist Banksy. -Editor
The ANS recently acquired a £10 “Di-faced” banknote created by the street artist Banksy (active 1992–). The note was purchased at the
2016 New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC) from Joseph Linzalone of Wolfshead Gallery, who, along with James Hallgate (a
Banksy dealer) of Lucius Books, had jointly obtained eight of these specimens directly from Banksy’s manager in 2014.
The note parodies British £10 notes from the mid-2000s, replacing the face of Queen Elizabeth II with that of Diana, Princess of Wales.
The elaborate script at the top of the note’s obverse reads, “Banksy of England”, replacing “Bank of England.” The reverse of the note
remains largely unchanged except for the all-caps legend “trust no one” in the lower-right corner. Weighing ca. 1.32 g, the note is printed
with inks on paper nearly identical to that used on official, UK-issued currency.
Banksy, known for his satirical and subversive street art, created a large quantity of the Princess Diana notes in August 2004, a roll of
which was reportedly thrown into the crowd at the Notting Hill Carnival and at the Reading Festival that year. Some of these bills were used by
festival-goers as actual currency, prompting Banksy to cease distribution. He re-used the note’s image later in a lithograph commemorating Princess
Diana’s death, and also in 2009’s “Million-Pound Briefcase”. Uncut sheets of these notes have fetched as much as £16,000 and £24,000 at auction.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the note the ANS acquired is its secure provenance. Genuinely authentic Banksy banknotes are
exceedingly rare, and are often counterfeited/copied and sold online via auction sites such as ebay. Most sellers claim to have been at
either the Nottingham Carnival or Reading Festival in 2004, and the fake notes sold are either photocopies or printed scans.
The market for Banksy notes is so great that it has generated detailed online discussions and videos of how to spot fakes. Many of the
Princess Diana notes are listed online as auctions at between $200 and $600, nearly all of which are private listings that mask bidders’
identities and allow the seller to drive up the bids using shell ebay accounts. People interested in acquiring an authentic Banksy note
should work through a reputable dealer or auction house.
The ANS’s Banksy note (ANS 2016.9.1) is the first specimen of fine-art paper currency at the Society, joining several examples of
defaced/modified coins in the cabinet. Visitors to the ANS may schedule a time to see the Banksy note, or other items in the
Congratulations to the ANS on their acquisition. I can't say this often enough - the time to make acquisitions of contemporary
numismatic material is NOW, when they can be acquired directly from the producer or with a well-establish provenance, such as in this
case. People involved in creating, using or experiencing the numismatic item or event are still alive and available for researchers to
consult. Museums and serious collectors should be acquiring and documenting today's contemporary numismatic items as a matter of
course; when these people pass away there will no longer be anyone around with first-hand knowledge of the facts. -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
ANS ACQUIRES AUTHENTIC BANKSY £10 DIANA NOTE (www.anspocketchange.org/banksy/)
THE BOOK BAZARRE
“I SHOULD LOOK SO GOOD AT SEVENTY.”
Pre-order your copy of the 2017 Red Book (70th edition) at www.WhitmanBooks.com
, or call 1-800-546-2995. Newly expanded to 464 pages (16 more than the 2016
edition), with special features and the latest U.S. Mint information. Hardcover, spiralbound, Large Print, and spiralbound hardcover
Wayne Homren, Editor
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